Spin-More Moves on so Jimmy John's can Move In
Record store closes after 30 years in downtown Kent to make way for sandwich shop
Phil Peachock has no hard feelings against his friend and former landlord.
Still, having to move his record shop after 30 years in downtown Kent was not an easy task for him, his friends or family on Tuesday.
"It's hard," Peachock said. "Thirty years ..."
Peachock closed the doors at Spin-More Records for the final time Tuesday in the Kent Stage building. Peachock's friend and owner of the Kent Stage, Tom Simpson, told Peachock about a month ago he planned to lease the space to popular Kent sandwich shop Jimmy John's starting this spring.
"He's a business man," Peachock said. "He's got someone else who wants to come in and pay more rent. That's fine with me. Business is business."
The sub shop had to find a new place to make its "freaky-fast" sandwiches this year in order to make way for the new Kent branch of the Portage County Municipal Court. County officials plan to break ground on the new courthouse, at the Jimmy John's site on East Main Street, this year.
For Simpson, having to deliver the news to Peachock was no easy task.
"Phil and the entire family and our family, we’re all friends," Simpson said. "From that perspective it was very difficult. From strictly the business side with all the improvements the Jimmy John's people are going to be putting in with a long-term lease … it was something that needs to happen for the building.
Both venues have been linked both physically and idealistically for years. Rock stars who played next door often stopped in at the record store to buy an album. And in recent years the record store served as a place to buy pre-show tickets when the stage was not open. Simpson also opened the doors for community watch parties last year when Peachock's son, Charles, was a contestant on the TV show America's Got Talent.
Simpson said he's hopeful to see Jimmy John's open in the Kent Stage building by early summer. The sandwich shop has until June 1 to vacate its East Main Street location.
Today, the iconic, cluttered walls of Spin-More Records, once plastered with loud images of rock bands and their album covers, are all but bare. Band posters and album covers gave way to reveal faded yellow and blue walls. Harder to reach images on the ceiling and high up on the walls remain.
Peachock — with the help of friends — has slowly been moving out almost 32 years of accumulated music memorabilia during the past several months. They picked up the pace and started the "hardcore move" as he called it about 10 days ago.
Stickers for RadioHead, Green Day, Hatebreed, Nine Inch Nails, Audioslave and more still clung to the glass counter where store employee Brando Andexler greeted the most die-hard customers for years.
Andexler recalled one customer's reaction when he found out the store was closing.
"He broke down crying," Andexler said.
"That was probably the most extreme" reaction, Peachock said.
The most dedicated customers will still have access to Spin-More's massive cache of music. Peachock plans to continue selling parts and records online and is hopeful to even reopen in a physical storefront in downtown Kent this summer. Customers who want to stay in touch can send an email to email@example.com.
Peachock said he is working with Simpson to try and find another possible location for the store.
"I have a place in mind, but it's not concrete," Peachock said. "I'll always be doing this, in one way or another."
They also want to keep the store's same phone number, which is 330-678-3495. But if you call that number today, the tones will only encho throughout the empty store.
Much of the record store's stock is now in storage and available to customers online. Peachock couldn't fit it all in storage, so he sold a lot of his vinyl records to Last Exit Books across the street. He also sold one of the store's two neon signs to a friend, but he kept the other.
"I plan on using it again," he said.
Jimmy John's has been searching for a new Kent location since its owners found out last fall they had to make way for the new courthouse.
Simpson said Kent Economic Development Director Dan Smith was instrumental in partnering the stage with the sandwich shop.
"We’ve been approached by other people a number of times in the past to put a restaurant in there," Simpson said. "Dan Smith helped put us together, and we looked at that space and how we could integrate them into what we’re doing here at the Kent Stage with our activities and the concerts. With them being open late at night, people can come to a show, walk out and there’s food right next door. We’ve always felt a need to have a food component to the Kent Stage building."
Peachock said the move wasn't too much of a surprise because his lease has been expired for a year. He said closing the storefront is partly a sign of the times given the increasing gravitation towards downloading music online rather than buying it from a record store.
The sandwich shop's plans to relocate to the stage building were widely known a few months ago, but Simpson said rumors that Four Seasons Trophies also would be leaving the stage building are untrue.
Simpson said Jimmy John's proved a good fit because it doesn't need to add a hood or ventilation system, and the space is large enough to accomodate the restaurant. He said the restaurant owners will start working on the space next week.
"It was a very difficult thing to do and a bittersweet kind of situation,” he said. “We’re doing everything we can to help Spin-More."